Welcome to Nature's Cottage!

Thank you for dropping by. I'm not quite sure what exactly this blog will be yet. Join me in our journey of evolving!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A little trouble

It's been a busy few days for me.  Had so much work to catch up with I couldn't think when I was talking to Sam today. We haven't talked in a while so that was rather annoying for him. I'm not sure if anyone else gets zonked like I do after a long day of computer work and studying though. I get all taxed out.  I just basically want to lie down and listen to him talk even if I don't have much to say- but it annoys him royally.

It's just one of those many bumps on the road of life.  Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. It annoys me that everything seems to be my fault tho. Whenever we're going through a bumpy part it's my fault. Why do I always have to be so spastic anyway? Sometimes I just seem to screw everything up.

My dad and some friends of mine went up to the waterfall today but I wasn't able to go because of a few deadlines I had to meet. In the meantime, I'm just taking some time watching some crazy videos on Yahoo.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day. I'm going to be at the cemeteries at a Red Cross Station from 8am to 5 pm tomorrow.  Hopefully we don't have to use our First Aiding skills!

Tonight I was thinking of my maternal grandmother who died more than ten years ago... and another friend who died last year.  I wonder where they are now.

Anyway.. back to work.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Picnic

Yesterday my dad took us (the family) for a swim in a nearby waterfall.  After more than 20 years of going back and forth to this place and living here for the past 5 years, I can't believe it's the first time we've see this gem.

We walked through rice fields:

By the river and sometimes, through the river:
 It was so beautiful all the way that we could've stopped and had our picnic in almost any of the spots.  But it was a bigger treat to walk a little further (I love hiking and walking) until we reached this:

Unfortunately, the only camera I had on hand was my cell phone's camera.  So my photos don't do justice to the real beauty of the place.  Besides, there were so many things to see during our hour-long hike, and I needed to focus on what I was stepping on and what I was going to step on next to avoid any accidents.  That aside, nature is truly amazing.

We spent almost the whole morning and a bit of the afternoon hiking, stopping for swims when we felt too hot, and just enjoying our time outdoors.  I've been living by the beach for several years now, so walking through the beautiful, lush forest and by the soothing water was a whole different flavor that I haven't experienced for a while. Besides, all the other waterfalls I've gone to were in the mountains thousands of feet above sea level.  The scenery was completely different.  Pine trees, regular high-land wild flowers and the like.  In those places, the water was so cold that it's not possible to stay in it for very long or your hands and feet start going numb and you get pins all over. But here, surrounded by mountains of tropical forests- where the palm trees grow in groves, or huge banyan trees seem to have either grown out of rocks, then through time, grown over and all around huge boulders, the water is as perfect as can be.  It's cold in some parts, but the sun and rocks are there when you need some warmth.  

After our walk, I was thinking about how good I felt.  I hadn't felt that good in ages. I felt so alive, not even tired after all the hiking in the sun (it wasn't sunny all the way, thanks to the trees). 

My dad walked bare-foot most of the way. As a teenager he left the city and lived deep in the forests with indigenous people until his early twenties. As far as I can remember he's always looked back fondly at those years he spent in the forest. He says this place where the waterfall is reminds him very much of those places he stayed in (the little hut he stayed in was just on the river bank) years ago.  When we were kids, he'd always take us on hikes. I remember how he'd put me on his shoulders (when I was younger) or carry me piggy back when I'd get too tired during walks. Then as we got older, he'd bring us to more challenging hikes that took several hours to complete.  Yesterday was another one of those memories to put aside and treasure. 

It's terrible to think of how the "modern person" can live their whole life in a cement and metal box, surrounded by so much noise, breathing either artificial or polluted air, and counting a day in the mall as relaxation or somehow a wonderful family outing.  Get outdoors.  Nature nurtures.  Learn to walk again, not on cemented pathways or straight cut wood, but on the soft, cool earth and on the uneven rocks.  Breathe the air that's fresh and alive.  See how beautiful real trees are and feel the wind against your face. Go into nature and live again. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Second thoughts and looking within

I've just been thinking about how life has turned out to be.  So many good things right now- but there are so many possibly bad things, and truly bad things as well.  I think I am trying to not see the bad things or, at least, see the bad things in a light where they don't look all too bad.  Other people have it worse.  I have no right to complain. Having said that, I've come to the conclusion, for the upteenth time that my dad is, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. In so many ways I can't count.

My mom is too, by the way.  Now that I'm seeing my own sister as a wife and mother and my days as a single (free & happy) girl are nearly over, I've come to appreciate my mom more.  Through the years, we've hardly seen my mom's dad.  It was due to circumstances beyond our control- many complicated things I don't want to delve into.  Now that he is frail and may die any time, I see how sad my mom is to see him in the state he's in. It's made me sad for her, sad for him.

Several years ago, my dad, who's always been so strong in every respect, (I'm not exaggerating) was very sick.  So sick that everyday when I'd wake up I'd wonder, "Is he still here with us?  Has he left us behind?"  For some reason or other, and with many thanks to God, he didn't leave us.  But one day he will.  Seeing my mom sad for her dad makes me cringe and cry for her, and for me too. It's made me think much more.  I've been trying to put myself in other people's shoes and trying to see things as they do, and learn a thing or two from it.

In a few months I'll be married.  Moving on to another chapter in my life. I am sad thinking  I won't be around to help my parents very much anymore (if things turn out the way they seem to be setting up now).  I won't be here to do things they aren't able to do anymore because their bodies are aging.  I may not even be here, near them, when one or both of them die.  My sisters and I will be in totally different areas.  We won't have each other as closely and supportively as we've always had each other.  And so life goes on. It could be way worse, I know.  I have many things to be thankful for. The pain of tomorrow I don't know yet. Sometimes it's just better not to expect too much.

A vast body of water stays calm and serene, though thousands of little streams, and maybe some huge rivers flow into it incessantly.  The beauty of nature.  The calmness of nature.  Mother Earth rests in the hands of her creator, knowing full well He is holding her afloat.

Calm down.  Expect the worst and just hope and pray for the best.  Such is life. Go on.  Things are always coming in going.  People come and go.  One day everything will be finished.  Through this life and through the end of this life, I'll try to remember and follow Mother Nature's example, and rest in the hands of the Supreme Friend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Falling behind

Sometimes I feel like I've been falling behind everyone else ever since I can remember. As a home-schooled grade schooler, my parents trusted me enough to do my school work on my own (as I did until I became a lazy pre-teenager).  I got away with that for quite some time. I terrorized enough teachers who were often to fearful to report to my parents (who both have very strong personalities) that I, one of their children, was a wayward, lazy, downright bad student.  Little did they know that my parents would have totally kicked my butt if they had told them the truth.  Eventually my parents did pick up on how slack I was, when I stayed in one grade all too long.  Luckily there were entrance exams to allow the schools to see what grade you can enter.  And even luckier, or by some magic of some sort, I managed to skip the grades I should have studied and was allowed to enter into the grade I would've been in.  I wish I could've said and done the same thing about college! But in the end, I am glad to say that although I did not finish college at the same time most people to, I've done a lot more cool stuff, learned a whole lot more, and achieved more than a lot of other people have in the same amount of time.  

(If that would only fully justify the way I see my own situation.. :()

I'm giving myself a pat on the back. Today I finally finished several things that have been on my Urgent!! To Do List for the past two months. Yay.  Now if only those guys would stop rolling their eyes...

The leaves of the trees have also been falling, falling behind, below, and all across the yard.  Like, literally ten minutes after raking 4 big basket-fulls of leaves, a beautiful cooling breeze comes blowing through and like some magic of some sort, the yard is full of leaves again. Thankfully most of the trees just have a few more dried leaves hanging here and there, and I can already spy the little green buds coming out of the knuckles of the trees.  Otherwise I'd have a garden full of tree skeletons.  They don't go too well with the usually-beautiful-lillies which had to be reduced to less than a foot tall because of the typhoon.  

Oh the wonder of nature. Yesterday I visited one of my friends who has a lot of mulberry trees in her yard.  They all lost their leaves from the salty, strong winds typhoon Megi brought. About a week after, her mulberry trees are full of green and white whorls of little leaves, and flowers (which, in a few weeks = mulberries)! 

I have to get back to work now.  I leave you with a photo of this funny little goat I saw, who nearly poked itself on the bum. 


Till next time...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


It's been a really fun and happy three weeks for my whole family.  Now things are back to the normal routine minus the damage of typhoon Megi. I'll post some of the photos I got from the long road trip we had today on our way back home to the north.  We encountered a lot of floods, broken trees, leaves and plants withered by the wind.  Even the plants and trees here in our house are all withered away.  Dry and black like a heat wave came over them.  Luckily (or not) the rain was not too strong in our little town so the farmers will be spared.  I did some cleaning and got bitten by those angry inch long fire ants who love umbrella trees.
We have a lot more cleaning to do tomorrow.

The waves are ridiculously huge they're literally right outside our gate right now.  There was a huge rumor going around that there was a tsunami heading our way and I did some research and apparently they meant storm surge.  I did even more research and apparently we are already in storm surge levels now.  Seeing the size of those monsters out there, I'm not surprised.

Things change so quickly and consistently.  A few days ago our garden was beautiful- nice and neat, everything growing just right. My basil seedlings were all nicely settled in the new beds I dug for them, and my bok choy were all growing.  We had lots of flowers and lots of shady spots in the garden.  Now our garden is a huge mess.  I'm not complaining at all though. I feel terribly sorry for all the people who lost loved ones, their homes, crops, and pretty much everything else they have.  I have it all good- and that's why I can't sit around too long- my friends and I are doing our usual post-typhoon community relief work.

That's it for now.  See you around soon.

-Nature's Cottage

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


There are so many things to be learned in life that learning should never end. No matter how old you've gotten physically- there's so much to learn and keep learning.  A few days ago while giving a class I was trying to explain to some of my older students (I've been teaching them for several years now) that through the years that they are trained, much more is expected from them.  They shouldn't expect to be treated as the same pre-teen that they were several years ago. 

Like I said before, I only became a better student when I became a teacher.  Now I regret taking so lightly so many opportunities I had in learning. I hardly remember anything now- and it's all because I was not appreciating what I had.  It was because of my stupidity and silliness thinking that I was already good, I didn't have to pay extra careful attention to what was being taught.  And so now, one of the things I'm thankful for is learning the value of time and opportunities.  Now I can only just feel sorry for the things I've missed out on, done, said, etc in the past and look forward, remembering always what I've learned.

Great news on the rescue of the Chilean Miners. I hope and pray that the whole rescue operation continues to move smoothly and that everyone will be rescued safely.  It is refreshing to see how they value the lives of people.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I've had many pleasant surprises during the past few weeks.  One of my sisters- who we haven't seen for a few years in person (usually we just talk on Skype) pleasantly surprised us with a visit.  She gave birth 7 months ago to a healthy baby girl we've been wanting to meet ever since- and now we finally have.  It's great to have them both here.  Our big family's littlest person is really pleasant and patient.  We are all looking forward and interested to see what she'll be like as she gets older.  She's a little ball of energy and is constantly trying to crawl around.

On another note- Sam gave me a call today and said that he just got himself a ticket back here and got it 1/3 of the usual price.  (Thanks to Jetstar's sales which ended yesterday!) When he comes, it'll have been exactly 872 days since we had last seen each other in real life- minus a few skype video calls.  I can probably count the number of times we had video calls to each other on one hand, so it's been just talking on Skype, cell phones, chats and emails.  We're on the last leg of our long-distance relationship.  Honestly, it's been real quick.  I We had a few arguments and nearly called off the whole thing a few times. Honestly though, right now I'm just happy.  Happy that he finally has a ticket back.  Happy that we've already gone this far even if we've really only just begun.


A good friend of mine is a researcher on Breast Cancer and never fails to send me tips on how to prevent or at least lower one's chances of getting the disease.  Two of the latest tips she gave me was:
  • Don't stay up later than 10:30 pm
  • Avoid all plastic containers for anything which has to do with cooking and eating- be it storing food in plastics, or having a plastic water bottle. Instead, opt for glass or stainless containers (be sure you don't get aluminium containers).